On Saturday, September 5th, 2020, Story Stitchers teamed up with the artist Katherine Bernhardt to create a 90′ fence mural at the site of one of our long-standing community partners. Planning on The Shelter Project with the Wellston Loop Community Development Corporation and Stitchers Youth Council began in March 2020 and continues with community members, leadership from Story Stitchers and the neighborhood, and Somewhere Studio, LLC a design team who has developed the shelter design pro bono, Metro St. Louis, Goser Structural Engineering, LLC, and Alberici Constructors Inc.
Katherine worked with seven Stitchers Youth Council members in Zoom over two sessions to create the ideas and imagery for the West Side neighborhood mural. Youth created sketches for her to use as inspiration. Imagery represents positive feelings, sports, Black Lives Matter, peace and non-violence, music (Marshmallow is a DJ), health and hygiene (toothbrushes and Pink Panther with a mask on), civic pride (Red Bird, fleur de lis, and the Arch) and joy (who doesn’t love ET?). It’s bright colors, playful imagery, and vibrant messaging is meant to reflect the heart and soul of the neighborhood and the positive attitude and strong resiliency of its people and bring smiles and love to the Wellston Loop and Wells-Goodfellow neighborhoods.
Cure Violence was also on site with the Story Stitchers to help everyone feel safe after a shooting involving youth occurred four blocks north of the mural site, just two nights before. Two young people lost their lives and a third was injured. Police from the 5th District drove by to wave and check on us as well.
Story Stitchers collect stories, reframe and retell them through art to promote understanding and peace in our region. The mural reflects the voices of the people living there and how they want their neighborhood to be seen—a place for families to thrive, for children to play and laugh, for people to share and care. Story Stitchers programs bring adult professional artists together with youth leaders and community partners to create a new vision and to build a new reality.
In the sunlight, with colorful spray paint cans at the ready, an experienced professional artist leading the way, and loads of
young talent, the amazing mural took shape. Neighborhood people and passers-by on the heavily traveled Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, stopped to take pictures and videos and tell us how much they loved the mural and seeing the community effort, especially with youth, take shape.
Everyone is now welcome to stop by and take a selfie! It is located at the corner of Hodiamont and MLK. Google 1514 Hodiamont (the location of the Wellston Loop CDC) and you can’t miss it! Please tag @storystitchers, @KatherineBernhardt and @WellstonLoopCDC!
The Shelter Project is sponsored in part by Wellston Loop Community Development Corporation, Somewhere Studio, LLC, Wells Goodfellow Neighborhood Improvement Association, Katherine Bernhardt, Metro St. Louis, Alberici Constructors, Inc., Ryan Goser of Goser Structural Engineering, LLC, LJ Punch, MD and “The T”, Cure Violence, and Saint Louis Story Stitchers youth programs such as mural painting and community organizing for The Shelter Project are supported through grants from the City of St. Louis Youth Crime Prevention grant of 2020, Youthbridge Community Foundation Nonprofit Recovery and Resilience Fund, Missouri Foundation for Health, Incarnate Word Foundation, Regional Arts Commission, and Arts and Education Council PNC grant for Story Stitchers’ annual Pick the City UP program, and Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund.
The next phase of the project will be the actual bus shelter construction and placement.